Cops, Courts and Fire

DUI Checkpoint Set For Newtown Bypass


Provided by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office: 

A suspected DUI driver blows into a portable breath test at a checkpoint in Newtown Township earlier in 2016.
Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

The Bucks County DUI Task Force will cap the July 4 holiday week with a checkpoint this weekend along the Newtown Bypass.

From 10 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, 21 officers from eight municipal departments and the Pennsylvania State Police will operate the checkpoint in the northbound lanes of the bypass near the Sycamore Street intersection.

Anyone found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be subject to arrest.

Participating municipal departments include Bensalem, Doylestown, Middletown, New Britain, Newtown, Plumstead, Warrington and Warwick townships.

A Friday night checkpoint conducted last July 7 at the same location with the same number of officers resulted in six DUI arrests, one narcotics arrest, two citations for underage drinking and two citations for traffic violations.

Six additional drivers who showed signs of impairment, but were not sufficiently intoxicated to be charged, were picked up and transported from the checkpoint by sober drivers.

While July 4 was a mid-week holiday again this year, statistics show that travel on the surrounding weekends can also be hazardous because of the added traffic volume and social gatherings at which alcohol is consumed.

In Pennsylvania last year, nine people died in alcohol-related crashes on Independence Day and the surrounding weekends, down from the 2016 total of 13 for the same period.

There were 94 total alcohol-related crashes statewide last year during the July 4 holiday period, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

“I hope that our DUI arrests follow the downward trend of DUI-related fatal crashes on this holiday weekend,” Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said. “With so many great alternatives to driving while impaired, there is no excuse for anyone to do it. Have fun, but don’t drink or do drugs and drive. Let’s all be safe.”

This weekend’s enforcement will be the countywide task force’s third DUI checkpoint this year, the previous two having been held in Warrington and Bensalem.

The efforts of the task force – the oldest countywide impaired driving enforcement program in Pennsylvania – are funded largely through a continuing federal safety grant administered through PennDOT.

For more than a decade, Impaired Driving Program grants have been provided through PennDOT and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania DUI Association. The grants help pay for salary reimbursement for officers who participate in the program, as well as for equipment used in DUI enforcement.


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